Relieving Stress, Anxiety and other things
I was sent this e-mail because in real life I am always stressed out, thought I would post this because almost everybody in daily life gets stressed but they have other ways of dealing with it and some just deal with it the bad way.
Guidelines for Eating Well to Reduce Stress, Alleviate Anxiety and Improve Health
Reduce or Eliminate the following Stressors to your Body
coffee, tea, cola, cocoa, chocolate
Sugar and sweets
candy, ice-cream, sugar-sweetened drinks, sugar-coated cereals, sugar-filled desserts, etc.
excess salt contributes to abnormal fluid retention, high blood pressure, heart disease
mono sodium glutamate (MSG) added for flavour and preserving increases heart rate which may lead to palpitations, sweating and a feeling of anxiety
white flour, white bread, white rice, white pasta products
foods containing additives and preservatives, ie. cold cuts, sausages, bacon, salami, etc.
contain added sugar and salt
contain added sugar and salt, beware of ketchup, heavy salad dressings, mayonnaise
Add To Your Diet And Enjoy
(these “rainbow foods” can be up to 50-70% of your daily intake)
Whole grains oats
whole-grain and multi-grain breads, brown rice, millet, buckwheat, multi-grain breads, spelt, kamut, quinoa, barley, oats, etc.
peas, lentils, beans, learn to cook or just add to dishes (keep a bag in the freezer ready to use, buy canned in spring water with no salt, etc. added) small quantities as a general rule (they can be high in fat), may be used in place of meat for protein in the diet
Nuts and seeds
raw and unsalted are best
low-fat milk and yogurt, soft cheese
Soy milk products
Important for menopausal women, may be used to replace dairy in the diet, soy and tofu products may be used in place of meat
to begin try your local supermarket’s herb and fruit varieties, Red Zinger, Cranberry Cove, etc., peppermint, chamomile, then once you are used to them move on to using herbs for health
Fresh white fish, salmon (best salmon is wild Alaskan, may be used canned, fresh, or frozen)
at least 6 8-oz glasses a day in addition to your other drinks (except pure herb teas)
unchlorinated! use a filter jug or buy spring water
distilled water can in time leach minerals from the body
Water is one of the essential compounds of our body chemistry. Insufficient water intake can often be responsible for constipation, liver and kidney malfunction, congestion in the colon, poor cell functioning, and more. Water regulates body temperature while transporting nutrients throughout the entire body.
About Blood Sugar...
It's important to know about blood sugar levels and how important blood sugar stabilizing is for reducing stress and lessening feelings of anxiety.
As defined in the dictionary, blood sugar is the glucose in blood that rises and falls depending upon what we eat. All carbohydrates are ultimately converted to glucose to be used by the body as fuel for the brain and muscles. When we are feeling low on energy we often crave sugar or caffeine. Caffeine appears to release stored glucose. Instinctively we know that these substances will raise our energy (or sugar) level quickly.
So, what's wrong with that? The problem is that this high concentration overloads the system, causing the levels to swing up above normal giving us a lift, then fall rapidly to way below normal. Then we feel even more tired and crave more sugar or caffeine... so, we have another cup of coffee, glass of coke, sugary snack... our energy swings up again and crashes down again... over and over! Riding on the chemical roller coaster leads to irritability, depression, anxiety, confusion and fatigue. It actually becomes an addiction cycle! We are not nurturing and taking care of ourselves when we are in this pattern.
Ideally we want a strong, steady level of energy all day long. We want to avoid the swings up and down by eating healthy food in healthy amounts. We need to avoid sugar and caffeine, and instead eat whole foods that are digested slowly. These are the complex carbohydrates: fruits, vegetables, grains. (See Guidelines above for eating well to reduce stress and improve health). These foods slowly release their energy into the body. My personal recommendation for most people (without having taken a personal health history) is to eat three meals a day and two or three snacks, so your body is receiving quality energy all day.
I suggest that you start by replacing sugar with fresh fruit. Whenever you crave something sweet try eating an apple. Apples are nature's fast food-easy to carry with you and easy to eat! You may feel deprived at first, but you will adapt and eventually find those sugary snacks too sweet.
Start kicking coffee by using good quality decaffeinated coffee. You will have the taste without the caffeine. If you are a heavy coffee user, wean yourself off by cutting the number of cups you drink daily. Caffeine withdrawal produces bad headaches and other side effects that may give you an excuse to give up. Go slowly, this is a process of loving yourself, not punishing. Try herbal teas. There are hundreds on the market, buy sample packs and find your favorites. Try coffee substitutes, you may find you like them.
Did you know that 30% of those with dyspepsia problems such as acid reflux also have anxiety conditions. More fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet will make you less acidic, so cut down on things like orange juice and eat an orange instead.
Twenty seven percent of those with food allergies also have anxiety conditions, so this may be a consideration when looking at your own personal diet. Maybe peanuts are not a healthy choice for you, try a handful of almonds which are known to be good for your blood sugar level and recommended in a cancer prevention diet. Maybe wheat is not a good choice for you and you could try eating spelt, kamut and quinoa instead.
And drink your water! At least six glasses daily. Don't like water? Try fizzy spring water with ice and a slice of lemon in a beautiful glass. Put some pleasant tasting chlorophyll to the water—at your health food store you can find peppermint or spearmint added to the chlorophyll for a refreshing drink. Take a 1.5 litre bottle with you in the morning and promise yourself you'll finish it by bedtime, then finish it by noon and feel pleased with yourself!
Don't Eat Dead Food and Fast Food is Dead Food!
Most of us don't know what "dead foods" are. We didn't learn about it at school and many parents never think about food as being "alive". Simply, foods with "life" are the foods that give "life". Alive foods give the body the nutrients that the body needs to live. "Dead" foods are food that are without their natural vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes due to processing. They include bleached, canned, polished, preserved, refined, and otherwise devitalized foods.
These "dead" foods are often presented to us as "fast" and "convenient" foods. They are easy to prepare and save us time. We can always grab a quick something at a nearby fast food restaurant however the price we pay is the lack of nutritional value in the food. Ever see a fast food restaurant advertising the nutritional value of their food? Perhaps that's because there is none! Fast foods are generally refined; high in fat, salt and sugar, and nutrient-poor. While they may soothe your appetite they do little to give your body the necessary vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes that it needs. They do little to build and maintain a healthy body.
The closer the food is to its natural state--fresh, unprocessed, unrefined--the better it is for you and your family. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Make a big green salad with a variety of raw vegetables part of your daily diet. Raw vegetables contain lots of nutrients and fiber which your body needs. Cooked vegetables are also great, just don't over cook them as all the good stuff gets taken out. Lightly steam your veggies, or bake them. Carrots, potatoes and squash all bake really well, add a little tamari and garlic...mmm! And a bonus if you've quit the sugar is that they taste really sweet. Leave or minimize the butter, sour-cream and sugar--get used to really tasting vegetables.
Avoid as much as possible canned fruits and vegetables as they are often "dead" foods containing extra sugar and salt. In the health food stores you can pick up sea vegetables which can be added to soups and stews; nori, kombo, dulse. They are excellent sources of minerals and add a salty taste without the sodium.
Make up your mind to cut refined foods from your diet. Quit the white "balloon" bread, and eat whole-grain and multi-grain bread. Supermarkets carry good breads nowadays, just read the labels and avoid "enriched white flours". Once you make up your mind to stop eating refined foods you will find lots of options available. You may have to adjust at first to new tastes and textures, but you will. You will be putting less stress on your system by eating whole foods. Whole grains are rich in B-complex vitamins which play an essential role in keeping stress levels and therefore anxiety in the body down. They also supply important amino acids, especially when eaten in combination with legumes. i.e. Mexican style rice and beans!
More Information about Anxiety & Food…read on…
“Does Anxiety Make You Stand in Front of the Fridge”
By Jacqueline Fairbrass, March 2005
When we are feeling stressed or anxious we often reach for food as a way to comfort ourselves. Does this sound familiar to you? It may be chips (salty and crunchy) for one person, while another is drawn to chocolate (sweet and creamy) or sometimes it just seems we can't eat enough, so we keep eating whatever is around. The drawback is, what seemed soothing and stress relieving at the time often makes us feel worse later. We can end up feeling bloated and even worse, guilty!
If you find yourself standing in front of the fridge when stressed, here are a few things to think about:
First thing - reach for a glass of water. Sometimes we are thirsty and we don't realize it! Make sure you get your six to eight glasses a day. This helps to fill you up and helps the digestive system stay healthy. (It's also good for your skin.) So, drink before you eat.
However, don't drink alcohol or caffeine when stressed. These can actually make your feelings worse or prolong your anxiety and its side effects.
Stop all activity for a few moments and take several long slow deep breaths. You will probably notice that your breathing became quite shallow, and this will help you get back to normal breathing.
Do not smoke - all the carcinogeous stuff in ciggies make you feel more anxious...it's the deep breathing that relaxes you. Just pretend you have a cigarette in your hand, and breathe!
Now, you have had a glass of water and you are deep breathing, check in with yourself - are you hungry? If the answer is yes...
Remember to keep your blood sugar levels stable by eating three nutritious meals and a couple of healthy snacks daily rather than three large meals, or the ever popular "skip a meal because you don't want the calories." That will bite you back!
Do your best to include some omega-3 fatty acid rich foods in your diet. These include flaxseeds and walnuts, salmon and deep sea fish.
Magnesium helps relax muscles and is found in most foods, especially dairy products, fish, meat and seafood. Also include in your diet apples, bananas, brown rice and tofu.
And magnesium is found in chocolate!
Oh well, we are not looking to be perfect, just to be healthy. If anxiety is causing you misery and your eating feels like it is out of control, try helping yourself by improving your diet and drinking more water. If you need more help, please contact me for an appointment and we will work together to get you back on track.
And my final tip
...walk away from the fridge and take a brisk walk outdoors. You will breathe deeply, get some exercise and begin to clear your thoughts.